Afra (Cynotilapia afra)

Photo of: Afra (Cynotilapia afra)

Scientific Name(s): Cynotilapia afra, Paratilapia afra, Hemichromis afer


Common Name(s): Afra


Family: Cichlidae


Species Type: African Cichlids, Lake Malawi


Maximum Size: 4 inches


Life Span: 11 years


Natural Habitat: East African Lake Malawi


Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons


Tank Region: All over


Possible Tank Mates: Other african cichlids


Description: Many caves and hiding places among rocks and pieces of slate are essential. The aquarium should be broken up into specific territories if more than one male is to be kept. Fine gravel or sand is required as the Afra will dig. Hard water with a high pH is essential.


Temperature Range: 72°F - 82°F



pH Range: 7.8 - 8.6

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 10° - 20°



Breeding Information: Keep a ratio of one male to three females. Many caves made from rocks are needed. The female is a mouth-brooder and cares for the young. The female should be moved to a birthing tank after she is holding eggs.


Sexing Information: Makes are brighter blue with black bars on body. Males tend to have more pronounced and brighter egg spots.


Diet: Omnivorous - feed vegetable based flake foods as a staple. Diet should be supplimented with brine shrimp and fresh green vegetables such as spinach, zucchini, romaine lettuce, spinach and peas.


Temperament: Aggressive and quite territorial


Common Diseases: Malawi Bloat - can be fatal if fed too much protein and fat.


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African Cichlids, Lake Malawi


Keith Pardee

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